December 5, 2017

After ABC News suspended Brian Ross for an inaccurately reported story on Michael Flynn and Trump that left egg on the faces of the network. So the question should be asked, why wasn't Bret Baier suspended by Fox News for an egregious error against The Clinton Foundation less than a week before the 2016 general election took place?

Baier told Fox News on November 2, 2016, that two sources familiar with FBI investigations into Hillary's server and the Foundation told him that the Clinton Foundation was about to be indicted for pay-to-play with Hillary's State Department.

These claims were first promoted by the book Clinton Cash, which was in reality paid (and made up) oppo-research for Steve Bannon. The book had no proof, only allegations, but during a heated election, that was enough.

These false stories on Fox came on the heels of the disastrous James Comey letter, which claimed Hillary was being investigated again over her email server, helped drive Donald Trump to victory.

Lou Dobbs on the same night filed a report saying at least five agencies said Clinton's email server had been hacked. Brit Hume backed this up.

It had not.

When Baier linked his sources to being close to the FBI, The Hill and the WSJ reported that it was the FBI that the Fox News anchor was discussing.

The next day, Baier, started to walk back his report and told Martha McCallum that he spoke "inartfully" about the investigations.

On Friday, the 4th he had to lay on his sword and apologize.

I explained a couple of times yesterday the phrasing of one of my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful, the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election," Baier recounted. "And I answered that, yes, our sources said it would. They would continue likely to an indictment."

He continued, "Well, that just wasn't inartful, it was a mistake, and for that I'm sorry. I should have said, they will continue to build their case."

"Indictment obviously is a very loaded word, Jon, especially in this atmosphere, and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is," he added.

What Brian Ross did was really bad reporting, what Baier did days before the general election helped throw more fuel on the "Comey letter" fire, had the conservative "news" and social media going off like millions of Roman candles, and helped swing the 2016 election by adding a frenzy of damaging reports of FBI "indictments" that just did not exist.

Once the media jumped on those phony allegations (obviously ginned up by Rudy Giuliani's Trump supporting sources within the FBI) there was no holding them back.

As Spencer Ackerman had reported, 'The FBI is Trumpland' and these anti-Clinton sentiments led to all the leaks coming from the agency. Where were all the hearings on Capitol Hill to get to the bottom of their despicable actions?

Bret Baier has always been considered "not as partisan" as most of the networks' on-air hosts. He took over for Brit Hume's 6PM Special Report and was billed as more of a "straight news anchor" -- and that carried significantly more weight than if, say, Sean Hannity had made those claims.

Why is Fox News not held to the same standard as other news outlets? Why didn't the brass at Fox News ever address their lead newscaster's horrific gaffe?

I think we all know the answer to that.

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